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Sarasota Local News on WSLR LPFM 96.5
Stories and interviews about issues that matter to Sarasota and Florida residents.
Category: News & Politics
Location: Sarasota, FL
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August 21, 2013 07:23 AM PDT

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is now a comprehensive, four-year university offering General Education and new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs to meet local needs. Until last year, USFSM was an upper-division transfer university offering undergraduate and graduate course work leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Accepting sophomores beginning in 2012, and now the first freshman class in fall 2013, marks USFSM’s major transformation to a four-year university. Shane Donglasan spoke with Dr. Bonnie Jones Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affair about this major change to the university.

August 16, 2013 10:06 AM PDT

Bill Newton spoke with us about the introduction of federal tax legislation on insurance that could have harmful effects on Florida businesses and consumers.

August 02, 2013 09:53 AM PDT

Natasha Clemons is the mother of Rodney Mitchell. Last June, Mitchell was fatally shot by two Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies. What began as a routine traffic stop for Mitchell not wearing a seatbelt turned violent when Mitchell’s Jeep SUV accelerated towards the two deputies.

A State's Attorney Office investigation found that Mitchell was in fact wearing a seat belt and that evidence showed that Mitchell turned his wheel away from the deputies, but the report determined that Sgt. Troy Sasse and Deputy Adam Shaw had reason to believe they were in “imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.”

Initial reports indicated that the deputies fired at the Jeep because the it was accelerating toward them, and shot out of fear for their life.

Shane Donglasan talked with Clemons about her struggle to bring her son justice.

May 22, 2013 02:58 PM PDT

By Tyler Whitson.
Recorded: 2013-05-15.
Air date: 2013-05-27.

On Tuesday, May 7, the Sarasota County Commission voted 4 to 1 to extend a cut in impact fees indefinitely. This means that the previously planned restoration of full impact fees that was scheduled to go into effect February 1, 201,5 will no longer occur. Commissioner Nora Patterson, who cast the only “no” vote on the proposition, said that those impact fees are needed to build public roads.

For more information about why she chose to cast the sole “no” vote at last week’s County Commission Meeting, I’m spoke with Commissioner Patterson. She explained what impact fees are and how decisions to keep them at a low level may affect development planning and taxpayers in the future.

May 09, 2013 08:39 PM PDT

By Tyler Whitson.
Recorded 2013-05-09.
Air date: 2013-05-10.

Now that the 2013 session of the Florida Legislature has ended, it's up to Governor Rick Scott to decide whether to sign or veto the bills that will make it to his desk in the coming weeks. The Florida Consumer Action Network, or FCAN, is currently putting pressure on the Governor to veto a piece of legislation, consisting of House Bill 655 and Senate Bill 726 and referred to as the “sick leave” bill, that would keep local governments from requiring employers to provide sick-leave benefits for their workers.

For more information about why FCAN opposes this bill, I spoke with Tim Heberlein, Political Director of FCAN.

May 09, 2013 08:36 PM PDT

By Tyler Whitson.
Recorded 2013-05-08.
Air date: 2013-05-08.

During this year’s legislative session, the Florida Legislature passed a number of bills that relate to the state’s environment. One of the most comprehensive of these bills is House Bill 999, which according to a collaborative report by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, “modifies a series of wetlands-related rules and ratifies the governor and Cabinet’s approval of 30-year leases of public lands in the Everglades to sugar companies.”

Numerous nonpartisan advocacy organizations, including Audubon Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida, have made their voices heard about the contents of House Bill 999 throughout its development in the House of Representatives. For more information about the the bill and the effects that it might have on Florida’s wetlands if it is signed into law, I spoke with Eric Draper, Executive Director of Audubon Florida.

May 09, 2013 08:32 PM PDT

By Tyler Whitson.
Recorded 2013-05-02.
Air date: 2013-05-06.

A recently released survey conducted by the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness has shown that, despite modest improvements in the local and national economies, rates of homelessness in Sarasota and Manatee counties have risen since 2011.

For more information about this year’s “Point-in-Time” survey, referred to by many as a “homeless census,” I spoke with the Partnership’s Executive Director, Leslie Loveless.

May 02, 2013 03:57 PM PDT

By Tyler Whitson.
Recorded: 2013-05-02.
Air date: 2013-05-03.

The two chambers of the Florida Legislature have hit a major disagreement on how to enact health care reform in the state, with Republicans in the Florida House of Representatives refusing to accept the $51 billion of funds that the federal government would offer to Florida as part of the Affordable Care Act.

For more information about the discussions in the Florida Legislature, I spoke with Karen Woodall, Executive Director at the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, who has been sitting in on the current legislative discussion in Tallahassee.

May 02, 2013 03:53 PM PDT

By Tyler Whitson.
Recorded: 2013-05-02.
Air date: 2013-05-03.

For information about voting for the upcoming Sarasota City Commission run-off election, I spoke with Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent.

May 02, 2013 03:49 PM PDT

Recorded: 2013-05-01.
Air date: 2013-05-01.

Sara Moone, Managing Editor of This Week in Sarasota, provides updates and announcements on the arts, education, entertainment and other local fun to be had in the coming weeks.

For more, visit www.thisweekinsarasota.com.

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